July 28th, 2009 17:45 EST
Rejected by Apple and AT&T?
The FreeMyPhone campaign is heating up.
The media are catching on to the story of exclusive pacts between cell phone makers and wireless companies. In the past few weeks, both the New York Times and USA Today addressed the problem.
Today`s news: Apple is rejecting all Google Voice applications from its iPhone App Store. This follows in the wake of rejected apps like Skype and SlingPlayer, both of which compete with Apple and AT&T`s services and are thus apparently unsuitable for your phone.
Meanwhile, more and more people are fed up with the lopsided amount of power wielded by the "Big Four" wireless providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile) in the United States.
Together, the Big Four account for 90 percent of the wireless market. And together, they stamp out consumer choice in favor of big profits and total control over the industry.
Tell the FCC and Congress to Free Your Phone
When challenged, the wireless carriers actually compare their industry to another: soda.
This is from the Times editorial on July 22:
Phone companies point out that exclusivity agreements are commonplace in other industries. For example, they say, it is not often that one finds a restaurant serving Coke and Pepsi.
Sorry, but cell phones aren`t soda. Unlike carbonated sugar water, cell phone choice, network access and the mobile Web are increasingly essential components of a democratic society. We rely on them for access to the information we need to be engaged citizens in the 21st century.
The media are getting the message. USA Today declared that "cell phone straitjackets" stifle innovation. The Times called on Congress and the FCC to investigate deals that might "hinder consumer choice." And the uproar over the rejection of Google Voice by Apple is sure to get louder. But the big cell phone providers and their legions of lobbyists remain resistant to anything that might spur competition.
We still need to press the FCC, the Department of Justice and Congress to investigate the anti-consumer practices of the Big Four -- and free our phones!
You can help by taking action and signing the "FreeMyPhone" petition today.
Thanks for your help,
Online Campaign Manager
P.S. Ask your friends and family to take action: Forward this e-mail, share it on Facebook or post it to Twitter. Keep on the pressure.